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Al-Qaida's Zawahri slams Arab leaders

Al-Qaida's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri slammed Arab leaders who are allied to the West, saying they were more harmful than Israel to the Palestinians, according to an Internet message posted on Monday.
/ Source: NBC News and news services

Al-Qaida's second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahri slammed Arab leaders who are allied to the West, saying they were more harmful than Israel to the Palestinians, according to an Internet message posted on Monday.

"These Arab Zionists with whom we live and exchange smiles ... are more dangerous than the Jewish Zionists," a speaker who sounded like Zawahri said in an audio recording posted on Islamist websites often used by al-Qaida.

Zawahri, an Egyptian militant leader, singled out Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak for his decision to enforce a blockade of Gaza's border with Egypt, helping Israel's blockade of the Palestinian territory.

"Who surrounds our people in Gaza ...? Is it not the leader of the Arab Zionists, Hosni Mubarak?"

Zawahri also directly addresses U.S. President Barack Obama, according to an English translation of the message from NBC News.

"O'Obama whether you admit or not, the Muslims have defeated you in Iraq and Afghanistan, and they will defeat you — and the powers that brought you — soon Inshallah in Palestine, Somalia, and the Islamic Maghreb."

At the beginning and end of the message, Zawahri congratulates the Muslim nation and Taliban leader Mullah Omar with events in Marja other successes on the battlefield in Afghanistan.

It was the latest video message from Zawahri since his audio tape in March in which he praised two al-Qaida leaders killed in Iraq.

Zawahri is thought to be in hiding in mountainous territory close to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan.